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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Tuesday, October 1 2002 

Road rage

Road rage is, I think, the besetting sin in my life. It's the most likely candidate for pushing me over the abyss into something like mayhem or murder. I yell at drivers who cut me off and, worse, slow down in front of me, and I literally want to throttle them. It pushes me to curse—curse fellow human beings made in the image of God, fellow travellers on the hard highway of life—which I despise in myself (but not enough, apparently). Road rage redounds to sin after sin compounded. Monks who don't drive don't have this problem (I don't know about the monks who do drive, but this does shed new light on my current favorite book, The Mountain of Silence, which is about a monk/abbot who has to be chaffeured around).

A friend whom I was mentioning this to asked me to unpack it a bit for the sake of some amateur therapy, and I decided that if I was going to have to write that much it would have to do double duty. How does it manifest itself? Dozens of ways. Perceived rudeness is the common denominator. Changing lanes without looking first is rude. Slowing down for no apparent reason after changing in front of me or not taking advantage of the new more open lane to increase speed is rude (doing so might be dangerous, too, but who am I to judge?).

Stopping for personal reasons like looking for house numbers in the right of way without even trying to get to the side is rude, dangerous, and illegal. Pulling out when I'm (er, someone is) coming at a speed that will require braking is rude, dangerous, and illegal. Walking on the right of way without getting to the side, and especially walking two or more abreast on the right of way is rude, dangerous, and illegal.

I can hardly drive outside my residential park without encountering one or more of these situations—more often, all of them—and often encounter several of them even before I get out of the park.

Of course, perceiving rudeness, or attributing it to my neighbors is itself a sin. It's judging others for shortcomings I myself also have. It's jumping to unrighteous conclusions; like me when I do the same things, they most likely didn't notice anyone else on the highway when they decided to change lanes. No, that's too cynically put. No...they're innocent and only I, in judging, am guilty.

I told my friend my road rage is most likely related to my recent graduation from middle to old age. How so, friend asks? I'll have to think about that and get back to you.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

T-shirt sayings (fifth in series)

21. Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.
22. Procrastinate now.
23. Rehab is for quitters.
24. My dog can lick anyone.
25. I have a degree in liberal arts. You want fries with that?

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

A fool is happy until his mischief turns against him,and a good man may suffer until his goodness flowers.

—Anonymous,
Sent by Bob Kennedy

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